New Page 27

Third Generation

Jacob Zettelmeyer, apparently the last child of Johann Jacob and Anna Margaretha Barbara Zettelmeyer to be born in Germany, was born in Bad König, Hesse on 23 Jul 1750 and baptized three days later. Jacob Kuhl was the sponsor. Jacob was just over 14 months old when the family reached Philadelphia. We can only imagine what it was like for such a young child to make the voyage.

There are scant Pennsylvania records that relate to Jacob. First is his mention in the will of his father in 1774. Although Jacob must have married around 1780 I have found no record of that event. If he married that late, he probably married in North Carolina. The only other Pennsylvania record which I am aware of is his mention in the 1787 will of Lorenz Bieber of Greenwich Twp, Berks Co PA, the same location as Jacob's father. (For more information on the Bieber family, click here.) I have concluded from this will that Lorenz was Jacob's father-in-law, and that Jacob married Maria (or Mary) Bieber. That is the easy part. The hard part is trying to determine which of Lorenz' daughters this is.

According to Frederic G. Paul and Jeffrey J. Howell in Berks County Pennsylvania Births 1705-1800, vol. I (1705-1760), Lorenz Bieber and his wife Catharina (Maria Catharina Adam) had five daughters who were listed among the baptismal records of Rev. John Casper Stoever:

Anna Catharina, baptized 4 May 1745
Christina, born 11 Aug 1747
Anna Maria, born 15 Jul 1752
Maria Eva, born 20 Jun 1754
Anna Maria Margaretha, born 21 May 1758

Which of the last three who had Maria as a part of their name was Jacob's wife? Census records led me originally to estimate her year of birth as 1755. The 1800-1820 Burke Co NC censuses listed her age as 45 or older, so she would have been born no later than 1755. If this is fairly accurate then she may have been Maria Eva, although she may have been Anna Maria. My hunch is that she was Anna Maria. It is pretty safe to eliminate Anna Maria Margaretha.

In November 2001 I found a message posted to the Bieber message board of GenForum that stated that Maria Eva Bieber had married Christian Braucher. I had suspected that Lorenz Bieber's will contained clues that would help identify which daughter Jacob married, and this message caused me to dig a bit more.

A Bieber family website traces the family back to Hirschland, Alsace (currently in France). Theobald Bieber married Sara Ludmann in January 1717 and on October 28 of that year, their son Lorenz was born. Lorenz came to America in 1739 aboard the Robert and Alice. Prior to 1740 he married Maria Catharina Adam and they had eight children:

  1. Nicholas, born 3 Feb 1740 [migrated to North Carolina]
  2. Anna Catharina, baptized 4 May 1745
  3. Christina, born 11 Aug 1747
  4. Debald (or Theobald), born 8 Apr 1749
  5. Anna Maria, born 15 Jul 1752
  6. Maria Eva, born 20 Jun 1754; may have married Christian Braucher
  7. Anna Maria Margaretha, born 21 May 1758
  8. Peter

In his will Lorenz directed how his estate "shall be distributed among my Children and Heirs." After a specific bequest to Nicholas he stated "thereafter Nicholas Beeber and Teobald Beeber, Philip Miller, Adam Retriner, Jacob Zettlemoyer, and Peter Beeber shall stand in equal shares." Why? Probably because those who were not sons were sons-in-law. The will went on to say that "Christian Braucher and his Heirs are excluded and my Daughter Eva shall have one English Shilling and Adam Keel and his Heirs has nothing to demand of abovementioned Estate, because he has already five Pounds away and my Daughter Margaret one English Shilling . . . ." The manner in which these names were listed led me to suspect that Christian Braucher was Eva's husband and that Adam Keel was Margaret's husband. After all, the males mentioned total eight, the same number as Lorenz had children. The only daughters he mentioned were listed right after Christian Braucher and Adam Keel, the two who were to receive nothing under the will.

Next I turned to available baptismal records, and those of Rev. Daniel Schumacher proved quite helpful. They indicate that he baptized Christian Braucher, son of Jürg Michael and Anna Barbara Braucher, on 6 Feb 1758 at age 16 days. Although these records also contain baptisms of children born to Christian and Catharina Braucher, they begin as early as 1768 when Jürg Michael's son was only 10 years old. But on 4 Feb 1776 a daughter, Maria Catharina, was baptized to Christian and Eva Braucher. This is the earliest baptismal record I have found for this couple, and Jürg Michael's son would have been 18 years old. In addition, the couple had children baptized both at Friedens Church and New Bethel Church in Albany Township, Berks County, which is in the area where the Zettlemoyer family lived. This information supports the possibility that Christian Braucher who was mentioned in Lorenz Bieber's will was a son-in-law and the husband of Maria Eva Bieber, who was nearly four years older than he.

Also in Albany Township I found baptismal records for Jonathan Kiel, son of Adam and Anna Margaret Kiel, born 7 Jun 1787 and for Esther Kiel, daughter of Adam and Maria Margaret Kiel, born 23 Aug 1794. This tends to show that Adam Kiel was the husband of Anna Maria Margaretha Bieber. So Jacob Zettlemoyer's wife most likely was Anna Maria Bieber, who was born 15 Jul 1752. She was just 8 days short of being two years younger than Jacob.

Some time around 1778 Jacob left Pennsylvania for North Carolina. According to Here Will I Dwell, a history of Caldwell County (which was formed from Burke County), there were numerous "squatters" living in the area by 1777, including Jacob Settlemire (when he reached North Carolina the name was spelled with an "S" rather than a "Z".). The land office for the area was closed between 1763 and 29 Jan 1778; Jacob began obtaining land grants in 1778. In all he obtained 1473.5 acres, although the most land he listed for taxes in any given year was 1300 acres (starting in 1802). Seven years earlier he listed only 550 acres.

The tax laws that were current during Jacob's lifetime in North Carolina provided, first in 1784, that a poll tax be imposed on all free males and servants who were age 21 and older and on male and female slaves between the ages of 12 and 50. (Chapter 195, 1784 Public Laws of North Carolina) Infirm free persons could petition the county court for an exemption from the tax. In 1814, the ages for taxable free males were set from 21 to 50. (Chapter 872, 1814 Public Laws) Chapter 1 of the 1817 Public Laws continued the poll tax but narrowed the age range for taxable free males from 21 to 45. This age range was in effect until 1872, when it was changed back to from 21 to 50. (Chapter 144, 1872 Public Laws) So the poll tax was imposed on free males as follows:

1784-1814	21 and upwards
1814-1817	21-50
1817-1872	21-45
after 1872	21-50

Before obtaining information from Jacob's baptismal record in Germany, I had used this tax information to determine that Jacob was born no later than 1752. Jacob was listed for one pollhimselfin the 1795 tax list. In 1802 he listed no polls, so he should have been at least 50 years old then. (Tax lists have not survived for every year. There is a gap between 1797 and 1802, plus several later gaps.) This would establish 1752 as the latest year for his birth unless he had been granted an exemption due to infirmity. However, the county court minutes did not disclose such an exemption.

I suspect that Jacob's inability to read worked to his disadvantage. On one occasion he sued a man for passing him legal tender in the amount of 6 pounds which the man represented as being worth 60 pounds. I can imagine that Jacob received the note in good faith and probably learned of its true value only when he tried to pay it to someone else. One might have expected him to be a community leader since he was apparently a man of means. But his inability to read and his probable inability to speak much English may have prevented him from assuming a prominent role. He may also have been a bit contentious.

Jacob brought suit against others a number of times, but he was often in court to defend himself as well. These cases were usually for "trespass on the case" or simply "case," which included such matters as his entrusting someone to perform an act but that they performed it poorly. His first appearance in the Burke Co NC court minutes was harmless enoughhe was the grantor of a 150-acre tract on the Catawba River to William James. The deed was dated 28 Oct 1782 and it was proved in court in Apr 1792 on the oath of Jno. Connally, Esqr, a witness to the deed. (The term "esquire" today is often used to refer to an attorney. In the 18th and 19th centuries in America it usually denoted that the person was an office holder, such as a justice of the County Court.) Jacob served as a juror at the Jan 1793 term. Also at that term his 1790 deed to William James for another 150 acres was proved, again on the oath of John Connelly. (Because few pre-Civil War land records have survived a fire in the court house, these court minutes are important for establishing a person's general location and neighbors.)

In Jul 1794 Jacob was appointed to be overseer of the public road "leading from Morganton to the Lincoln line from a branch called the Rockey branch to the said Lincoln line." On occasion he was also designated as a road hand to help maintain the road in passable condition. During the Jan 1800 term of court he was named to a "jury of view" that was to lay off a road from Capt. Beard's (Baird's) iron works toward Rutherford court house as far as the Rutherford line. His sons Jacob and John later worked the road from "Conrad Burns old place to the Lincoln line," which was probably the same road that Jacob worked on. But his son David was appointed to help maintain the road "from the horse ford to the forks above Col. Bairds." This road was located in the part of Burke County that later became Caldwell County. Jacob's cousin David, who lived in Lincoln (later Catawba) County, served on the Horse Ford road "from the forks of the road to the horse ford." David's neighbor, who also worked that road, was Solomon Phillips, whose daughter married Jacob III.

Jacob’s second verifiable jury service occurred at the January 1795 term of county court. Then John Gibbs deeded Jacob 200 acres on 21 Oct 1797 and the deed was promptly reported to the October court. Jacob also had jury duty at the July 1800, July 1801 and October 1805 terms of county court. However, Jacob did not appear for the last term and he was fined for nonattendance. There were several other deeds that involved Jacob. On 12 Nov 1796 (presented to the October 1800 court), he sold 250 acres to William Cry. On 22 Jul 1801 (presented to the July court) he sold 200 acres to John Gobble. The last deed Jacob made was most likely the 13 Feb 1813 deed for 50 acres to Jacob Sitze (Seitz, now known as Sides). Two days earlier he had deeded 100 acres to John Smith.

Both the court minutes and loose civil papers in the NC State Archives illustrate his presence in court as a party to litigation. For example, in January 1781, Jacob sued Robert Middleton for trespass upon the case and was awarded 250 pounds damages. A similar suit was filed against Jacob by John Cooper in July 1782; in July 1784, Jacob brought suit against Peter Shoupe on the same basis. (Jane and Rebecca Cooper were witnesses against Jacob in the prosecution of suspected Tories. It is possible that bad blood resulted from this case and that they determined to "fix" Jacob.)

In December 1782 Jacob was cited to court in Burke Co NC on the charge of being a Tory. The fact that he was able to acquire so much land leads me to question the validity of that charge. Other information that casts doubt on the allegation comes from Mecklenburg Co NC and from South Carolina—two bounty hunters who turned in deserters made a claim for bounty for delivering Jacob Sadlimire  and Philip Smith, who belonged to General Sumter's brigade. Thomas Sumter was a General from South Carolina during the Revolutionary War. Under his command were subordinates Lt. Col. Myddleton and Capt. Frances Moore; according to A.S. Salley, editor, Documents Relating to the History of South Carolina During the Revolutionary War, Jacob Suthmyer enlisted in May 1781 in the 2nd Dragoons for ten months. His payment was one grown Negro plus 86 pounds, 10 shillings, 8 pence. Jacob received his pay with interest in October 1784. The 18 Apr 1782 pay roll listed both Jacob Suthmyer and Philip Smith. Smith's pay was to be deducted because he had deserted; Suthmyer's was not. The South Carolina Treasury issued documents contained in Stub Entries to Indents Issued in Payment of Claims Against South Carolina Growing Out of the Revolution. Within pages 167-179 of Books L-N Jacob Suthmyer, a private in Myddleton's Regiment, Sumpter's Brigade, was listed. Interestingly, five members of Captain Moore's Troop were later cited along with Jacob Settlemire on the charge of being Tories. Another member of that unit lived in the general vicinity where Jacob lived.

Hugh F. Rankin, a noted North Carolina historian, wrote a booklet entitled "The North Carolina Continental Line in the American Revolution." Rankin noted that among the soldiers fighting at Ninety-Six, South Carolina were a number of the North Carolina line. Soon word came that British Lord Rawdon was advancing with relief forces and General Nathaniel Greene withdrew his American forces. However, the promise of a confiscated slave as bonus payment led many of the Tar Heel forces to join the Sandlapper troops under the command of Thomas Sumter and Andrew Pickens.

The National Archives has no Revolutionary pension file for Jacob Settlemire, so it is a bit of speculation to say that Jacob Suthmyer was Jacob Settlemire. But I believe that they were the same person. I also think that he must have known Philip Smith (perhaps Schmid—a German?) and that he went in search of Smith to bring him back to the front.

A long-running dispute began in July 1785, when William James sued Jacob for trespass on the case. These two stayed in litigation over several matters during the next 12 years. In one case, James won and was awarded a tract of land on Cold Ass Creek over which he had brought suit. James also sued for goods sold and delivered. In another case, Jacob appealed the verdict to Superior Court on the basis of having been deceived by James "in sundry articles charged in the plaintiffs account which had been settled and paid before instituting said suit" so that Jacob had not been prepared to present evidence on those matters at trial. (This may give us insight into what Jacob was like. He was clearly not profligate, but his apparent inability to read and write seems to have worked against him in the original trial. Perhaps people tried to take advantage of him on this account. Or he may have been clever enough to use his situation as an excuse for bad bargains.) A 1794 case between the two referred to Jacob as "Planter," a term that indicated his being a farmer of some means. In one of these cases, John Church charged James for his attendance at court, including traveling 30 miles. This would have been a round trip and should indicate roughly how far from Morganton Jacob lived. A neighbor, Abraham Fleming, sued Jacob in 1785 for trespass on the case. Two years later, Nathan Howard charged him with trespass with force and arms and recovered 100 pounds from Jacob. The following year, Nancy Ervin sued Jacob, and Jacob also sued James Murphy, on debts under 5 pounds.

At the July 1792 session of Burke County Court. Joseph Dobson’s Executors brought suit against Jacob, apparently on an account due the deceased. The amount of the claim seems to have been £ 752; the court awarded the plaintiffs 25¢ for each pound. Then in October 1793, a case entitled "Den & Wm. Brandon vs. Jacob Suttlemire" was heard. Names such as "Den" and "Fen" seem to have been used then as "John Doe" and "Richard Roe" are today. This was apparently a suit over property lines. Jacob asked for Conrad Hilltebrand and John Shell to represent him on a jury of view, while John Murray and William James served for the plaintiff. The following April, Robert Logan was ordered to serve as surveyor of the property. The case was concluded at the July 1794 session with a verdict in favor of Jacob. Lawrence Marrick brought suit against Jacob (for some unspecified cause) in July 1795 and a mistrial resulted. Then in April 1798, Jacob was charged and found guilty of criminal trespass. He tried to have the judgment set aside in January 1799, but the court upheld the original judgment and fined him 5 pounds.

In January 1806, John Thompson sued Jacob and was awarded 15 pounds damages plus costs. At the July 1808 session, Jacob obtained judgment against Benjamin Clarke for 7 pounds plus costs in one case and 3 pounds and costs in another. He sought to have the judgment satisfied, but the sheriff reported that there were no personal goods found to be levied on. As a result, the court ordered that a 200-acre tract adjoining Jos Berry and Jacob Rudisale be sold to satisfy Jacob’s claims. 

Jacob Baldwin brought suit against Leonard Hise on behalf of Jacob in October 1809. This must have involved a contract, for the jury found "the writing to be the act and deed of the Defendant, that the covenants are not performed, that there are no payments nor (set)off and no previous conditions to be performed," for which they awarded damages of 98 pounds, 2 shillings, 9 pence and costs. There was some difficulty in recovering the judgment, for in January 1814, an entry indicated that the matter was on the April 1810 execution docket and that the defendant had paid 2 pounds, 12 shillings.

One of Jacob’s last acts was to defend a case against Henry Hohn (Hawn or Haun) at the July 1813 term of court. Jacob was ordered to pay 37 pounds, 13 shillings, 4 pence plus 6 pence costs. Within a few weeks afterwards, Jacob had died.

Unfortunately, there are no records that indicate what crops Jacob grew or what livestock he kept. Nor is there information about how many acres he had in cultivation. Unless he had slaves or hired hands, he and his three sons could not have farmed his entire holdings. An entry in the October 1784 Lincoln Co NC court minutes gives an idea of the cost of living in the area:

Ordered by the Court that all Venders of Spiritous Liquors and Public Housekeepers observe the following Rates
Viz, good whiskey by the pint                        £ 0-0-9
By the half pint                                                 0-0-6
By the Gill                                                        0-0-4
Good Cider Royal by the Quart                       0-1-0
Good Cider by the Quart                                 0-0-6
Good Beer by the Quart                                   0-0-6
Good Rum by the Pint                                      0-2-0
By the half pint                                                 0-1-0
By the Gill                                                        0-0-6
Good wine by the pint                                      0-2-0
By the half pint                                                 0-1-0
Good Gin the same Rates as Rum above
For Dinner                                                        0-1-0
For Breakfast or Supper                                   0-0-8
For Good Bed & Lodging                                 0-0-6
For a good horse by the Night at hay or foder 0-0-8
At pasture 0-0-4
Corn or oats by the Quart 0-0-2

A July 1786 entry revealed more useful information for the agricultural community:

                                                           Rates for H. W. Abernathies         Rates for Hamilton Flat
                                                           ferry on Catawba River                on South Fork
loaded waggon and team                             0-5-0                                         0-4-0
empty waggon or loaded cart                      0-3-0                                         0-2-6
a man and horse                                          0-0-8                                         0-0-6
single person                                                0-0-6                                         0-0-4
every head horse or cattle                           0-0-4                                         0-0-3

From entries in the Burke County Court Minutes and from the date of his will (2 Aug 1813), it seems that Jacob II died about August or September 1813. Both he and his wife died in Burke Co NC and they were possibly buried on his plantation (some of which is now covered by Lake Rhodhiss), although they may be buried in unmarked graves in the Friendship Methodist Church Cemetery outside of Connelly Springs. A survey of the tombstones of that cemetery indicated that Jacob and Mary may be buried there. It also indicated that their son Jacob and his wife, Hannah, were buried there. If so, their stones have been lost or destroyed. Because the church was organized before 1800 (it was first rebuilt in that year), it is very likely that Jacob and Mary were buried there.

Jacob was listed in three Burke Co NC censuses:

1790	106	Jacob Suttlemire	1 M 16 or over, 3 M <16, 4 F
1800	796	Jacob Sutimore		1 M <10, 2 M 10-16, 1 M 45+
					2 F 16-26, 1 F 45+
1810	353	Jacob Settlemire	3 M 16-26, 1 M 45+
					1 F <10, 1 F 16-26, 1 F 45+

This census information suggests that in 1790 Jacob and Mary may have had three sons and three daughters. The 1800 census confirms the existence of three males who could be sons but either one of the three females other than Mary had died or had married and left the home. I believe the 1810 census reveals that their daughter Mary had married Benjamin Pugh and was out of the home, and that Catherine (Caty) remained in the home along with her young daughter Mary. Burke Co NC records confirm that both Caty and her daughter bore the surname Settlemire, so it appears that Mary was born out-of-wedlock.

Interestingly there was a Jacob Settlemire, as well as an Adam Settlemire, in Albany Co NY about the same time that this Jacob came to Burke Co NC. That required some research and analysis to verify that I was working on the correct Jacob Settlemire. (But since my Settlemire family is from North Carolina, the Burke County group was a pretty safe bet.) I found that about ten years after Jacob Settlemire began obtaining land grants in North Carolina (1778), Adam Settlemire moved there as well. There are baptismal records for six of Adam's children in Berks Co PA; the last three of them were baptized in 1787. Adam was listed in the 1786 Septennial Census for Berks Co PA. His estate was administered in both Berks Co PA and Burke Co NC when he died in 1794. The administrators of his estate were George Adam and Martin Zettelmeyer, "brothers of Adam Zettelmeyer, late of the state of North Carolina." Both George Adam and Martin were mentioned in their father's will. George Adam and Martin also bought a tract of land in what had been Tryon Co NC, out of which several counties were carved, including Lincoln and later Catawba. Although they remained in Berks Co PA, the later sold the land to Martin Zettlemoyer, who seems to have been their nephew (Adam's son). Martin's baptismal record in Berks Co PA shows that he was the son of Adam and Anna Maria Zettelmeyer. (Publications of the Pennsylvania German Society: Volume I 1968)

In April 1787 Jacob brought a civil action in Burke Co NC County Court (found in Burke Co NC Civil Action Papers, NC State Archives). One of the witnesses he subpoenaed was Godfrey Settlemire, another brother. The subpoena was directed to the sheriff of Burke County, but there is no notation to show whether Godfrey was ever served.

In 1801 John Willfong, attorney-in-fact for Jacob Mitchell and his wife Maria, late Maria Zettelmyer, widow of Adam Zettelmyer, executed a document to George Adam Zettelmyer, Adam's administrator, acknowledging receipt of Maria's dower from Adam's estate. The document is recorded in the Berks co PA office of the Register of Wills.

Another piece of evidence comes from the Oregon branch of the family. That family has handed down the tradition that the family moved from Berks Co PA to North Carolina and then to Missouri before eventually moving to Oregon. The family traces its lineage back to Adam Settlemire, son of Adam who died in 1794. Adam Jr. died in Missouri in 1817.

After examining all the evidence available I decided that the Albany Co NY family descends from Hans Jurg and Margareth Seidelmeyer, who came to America in 1754 and whose son Johannes had apparently moved to New York by 1790.

Trying to identify Jacob's children proved to be a bit of a challengeor at least trying not to confuse them with their cousins. Both Jacob and his brother Adam named sons David and John. This obviously made it difficult to examine paper records and readily understand the family to which that child belonged. Census records helped to identify the number and sex of children in the home. Those censuses reveal the following:

1790    3 males born between 1774-1790
            4 females (including the wife, Mary)

1800    2 females born 1774-1784
            2 males born 1784-1790
            1 male born 1790-1800

1810    1 female born 1784-1794 (his daughter Catherine?)
            1 female born 1800-1810 (her daughter Mary?)
            3 males born 1784-1794  (Jacob, David, and John)

I have concluded from this census information that the two daughters were born by 1784 and that there may have been a third daughter, as suggested by the 1790 census, who died before the 1800 census. The daughter Mary must have moved out of the home by the 1810 census, thus accounting for the daughter Caterina and her daughter Mary in the 1810 census. The eldest daughter must have been born around 1782 and the next one around 1784. Two sons were born between 1784 and 1790 and the youngest was born in 1790.

Censuses attempted to report exact ages beginning in 1850. (I say "attempted to" because it is clear that those ages were rarely precisethe ages often varied quite a bit from one census to another.) The 1850 Burke Co NC census indicated that Jacob and Mary's son Jacob was age 62 and so born about 1788. But the 1860 census reported that he was 85 years old, which has to be wrong. If it were 75, we would have been born about 1785. In 1870 he was said to be age 84, therefore born about 1786. Jacob had brothers named David and John. One David Settlemire, who was born about 1779, married Thursey Sherrill. (Lincoln Co NC Marriage Bonds) He signed his name to the marriage bond. David died in 1840 and is buried in the Moore Cemetery in Hickory. This David was clearly born to early to have been a child of Jacob and Mary, so he must have been Adam's son. In fact he lived in what later became Catawba Co NC, where Adam's family lived. (I believe that he is the same person as Daniel Zettelmyer who was born 6 Sep 1782 in Berks Co PA to Adam and Anna Maria Zettelmyer.) The other David Settlemire was listed in the Burke Co NC census until 1840 when he appeared in Tippah Co MS. The 1850 census gave his age as 60 (born in 1790) and the 1860 census as 72 (born in 1788). He was married to Ruth Thomas. David Settlemire of Lincoln (later Catawba) Co NC was appointed as a constable in 1806 and 1807 and he signed his name to the official bonds. Those signatures are consistent with the marriage bond signature. Whenever he sold land he either signed his name or wrote his initials on the deed. (Another example is his witnessing the 1801 deed from Daniel Will of Berks Co PA to George Adam and Martin Zettelmeyer, his uncles.) The other David Settlemire made a mark similar to a lower case "s" for his signature.


Census records later indicate that the Lincoln Co NC David’s children were born in Burke (later Caldwell) Co. (See 1850 Caldwell Co census.) Henry Hallman Settlemire was deeded land in Caldwell by David, but the deeds show that David lived in Lincoln, not Burke. David’s will refers to a plantation in Burke (later Caldwell) Co on which his son George S. was then living. I believe that Adam Sr. moved to Burke some ten years after his brother Jacob Jr. settled there. His children were born in Burke. I think his son David later moved to Lincoln, maybe at the time he married Thursey Sherrill. In this case, his children were not born in Burke as they claimed, but in Lincoln.

I am told that some of Lincoln Co David’s descendants claim to descend from Jacob Jr. of Burke, but I doubt that claim. They may have heard of Jacob of PA and confused him with his son Jacob in Burke. Their ancestor, Jacob Jr’s brother Adam, died in Burke in 1794 and his son Adam moved to Missouri around 1805. There was no one left in NC named Adam, and his name may have been forgotten by later generations. (A note in the Morganton Herald reported that in 1890 a census-taker encountered a man who did not know the names of the three grandchildren whom he had been raising!) These descendants may have tried to trace their ancestry; if so, they likely found Jacob Jr’s will and concluded that his son David was their ancestor David. Adam Sr’s estate records are very skimpy, and they do not identify his heirs. His wife remarried to Jacob Mitchell around 1797, and she left property by her will to her son David Settlemire. (See estate file of Mary Mitchell, Lincoln County records, NC State Archives.) This is the only mention of a child of Adam and Mary in their estates. Her will was probated in Lincoln Co in 1828. Jacob Jr’s wife’s will was probated in 1823 in Burke Co NC. Both wives were named Mary. There is too much room for confusion among these similar names to discount this suggested explanation.

Both Jacob Jr. and Adam Sr. had sons named John; both moved out of NC. Adam’s son, John George, was born 12 Dec 1786. According to the 1850 Perry Co TN census, one John was born in 1784. His wife was Susan (Susanna Riddlen, whom he married in Burke Co NC). He could be Katy’s twin brother. The other was in McCracken Co KY for the 1850 census, listed as age 58 (1792). I think it likely that he was born in 1790, not 1792, and that he is the final son of Jacob Jr. This is because I suspect that Jacob named his first-born son after himself, so that Jacob III, born about 1786, was the eldest. Also, the younger John named one of his sons Jacob; the only son I know of the elder John was Isaac. This tends to indicate to me that John, born about 1790, was the son of Jacob Jr. Of course I do not know for certain that these conclusions are correct. If I am right, the approximate years of birth for Jacob and Mary’s children are:

Mary 1782
Catherine 1784
Jacob 1786
David 1788
John 1790

In his will Jacob named five childrenMary, Caterina (also her daughter Mary), Jacob, John, and David. The sale of his estate was reported at the January 1814 term of court "with an Inventory of cash and debts." Apparently no record exists of that inventory or the items sold. The only record of Jacob’s personal property is his will.

Jacob’s death was clearly quite a blow to his widow. She had depended on him for many years and his loss must have been more than she could bear. At the October 1814 county court session, the court ordered that a jury be summoned to "try and inquire into the mental condition of Mary Suttlemire widow of Jacob Suttlemire decd." The jurors found that she was "in a state of ediocy and Lunacy," so the court appointed David Bedel (Beadell) as her guardian. He filed a 500 pound bond with Mark Brittain and George Pearce as sureties. Just over a year later, at the January 1816 term of court, Beadell filed a petition to have Mary's dower allotted to her:

State of N. Carolina ) January Sessions 1816
Burke County          )

To the worshipful the Court of Pleas & quarter Sessions in and for the County aforesaid The Petition of David Beadell Esqr Guardian for and in behalf of Mary Suttlemire a lunatic respectfully Sheweth that Mary Suttlemire was the lawful wife of Jacob Suttlemire late of the County aforesaid decd. who at the time of his death was Seised and possessed in fee of the following tracts & parcels of Land Situate lying and being in the County aforesaid (to wit) One tract of a hundred Acres on the Cany fork of drownding Creek a small distance below his Mill tract Beginning at a pine thirty six poles south of the fork and runs East one hundred and Seventy Eight poles to a pine on the top of a Ridge then north forty poles crossing the same course fifty poles to a post oak then west one hundred and Seventy eight poles to a post oak near the waggon road then to the beginning. Also one other tract part covered by water including his fishery and the Island in the Catawba River purchased from John Gibbs Beginning at a Chesnut tree on the south side of the River, running west up the river fifteen Chains to a Chesnut Tree above the fork thence north ten Chains crossing the river to a large Stone in said Gibbs line then south Seventy three degrees East along the side of the Island fifteen Chains fifty Links to a large Stone at the lower end of the island Then south four Chains to the beginning. Also one other tract of a hundred Acres lying on the south side of the Catawba River Beginning on a Chesnut on the bank of the river and runs west three hundred and fifty four poles to a small White oak on George Houks line then with said line one hundred poles to a spanish oak on the bank of the River, then down the river as it meanders to the beginning. Also one other tract of Three hundred and thirty acres on the south side of the Catawba river Beginning on a Chesnut on the bank of the river runs south twenty one degrees west one hundred and seventy four poles to a pine Michael Taylors and Timothy Pantors line then west three hundred & seventy four poles to a stake then north one hundred and sixty two poles and a half to a Spanish oak on the bank of the river thence down the River the various courses to the beginning. Also one other tract of Two hundred Acres on the north side of the Catawba River Beginning at a Locust Tree and Gum tree in Rainbotts line running south seventy five degrees west eighty Chains on the meanders of the river including two small Islands in said river to a red oak and Gum Tree thence north James Moores line thirty five chains to a Stake thence East twenty seven chains to a pine Rainbotts corner thence fifteen Chains to the beginning. Also one other tract of fifty acres on the north west fork of drownding Creek Beginning on three small post oaks forty poles south of the big road and runs North one hundred and twenty seven poles to a spanish oak on the south side of a Hill then west sixty three poles to a pine, then south one hundred and twenty seven poles to a Stake then East Sixty three poles to the Beginning. Also one other tract of hundred acres lying on the west side of Cany fork on the waters of the Rocky fork on the South side of the road that leads from the limestone Kiln to Sherrills ford on the Catawba river Beginning on a pine and runs west Eighty poles to a branch crossing the same course forty six poles and a half to a stake then south forty poles to the branch aforesaid crossing the same course eighty six poles and a half to a Chesnut thence east one hundred and twenty six poles and a half to a pine thence north one hundred and twenty six poles to the beginning. Also one other tract of a hundred acres on the head of drownding Creek Beginning at a Chesnut tree at the head of the Spring of said creek near the road running south crossing the other fork twenty two chains thirty six links to a Stake thence East forty four Chains seventy two links to a Stake thence north twenty two Chains thirty six links crossing the creek and road to a post oak thence west to the beginning. Also one other tract of a hundred acres on the north side of the Catawba River Beginning at John Gibbs corner parcimmand tree at the mouth of a branch running north ten degrees East with said line, Twenty five Chains to an Ashe tree in the fork of a branch thence East two Chains to a Poplar thence north Twenty Chains with said line to a stake thence east twenty five Chains to a stake thence south five Chains to a maple marked as a corner in a branch then the same course fifteen chains to a red oak in a Zadock Smith’s line, thence west with said line fifteen Chains to a post oak then south thirty Chains to a red oak on the river bank thence north Seventy degrees west up the meanders of the river twenty Chains to the beginning. Also one other tract of a hundred and fifty Acres on a branch of drownding Creek joining Jacob Yount on the East Beginning on two post oaks on said Younts line and runs west two hundred and Nineteen poles to three pines on a ridge then south one hundred and ten poles to a pine tree on the Sumit of a ridge then East two hundred and nineteen poles to a stake then north to the Beginning. In each of which said several tracts or parcels of land herein before described your petitioner states that his Ward Mary Suttlemire is intitled to a life estate in dower of one third part of the aforesaid lands & premises as Jacob Suttlemire the late husband of the said (blank space for name) died intestate and in possession of the aforesaid Several tracts of Land without (illegible) any provision for her the said Mary. Your Petitioner therefore prays that your Worships will order and direct a Writ to issue to the Sheriff requesting him forthwith to Summons a Jury in order to lay off and allot to the said Mary Suttlemire her part or portion in the aforesaid lands and premises pursuant to the act of the General Assembly in such case made and provided and your Petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray.

s/ David Beddell Gurd.
         Suttlemire Lunk.

January 13- 1816

We the Subscribers acnoledg the notce of this petion (sic)

Contrary to the petition, Jacob had not died intestate and he had made provision for his wife through a bequest of personal property. It is true that she was entitled by law to a dower estate in the land and that Jacob had not provided land for her. (This was not uncommon, but was in fact the usual situation—a man would will his land to his children, and the widow would petition the court for her dower.) Not only was David Bedell a neighbor of the Settlemires, he was also a co-executor of Jacob’s will, so it is curious that he made such statements in his petition.

There was no explanation for Jacob III’s omission from those receiving notice of the petition. The petition was granted and the tax list for 1816 listed Mary Settlemire with 240 acres. The following year she had listed only 160 acres. This was most likely the widow’s dower and not the devise of land to granddaughter Mary, because the division of land among the heirs had not yet occurred. William Nesbitt, William Connelly and Babel Sherrill were appointed to settle Jacob’s estate at the January 1819 term of court.

At the April, 1819 Session of Burke County Court, a petition was filed by Jacob Suttlemire, John Suttlemire, David Suttlemire and Joseph Hays guardian of Mary Suttlemire, asking that the Jacob Suttlemire lands be divided among them according to Jacob’s will. The petition inaccurately states that Jacob was the petitioners’ father (he was Mary’s grandfather), but does correctly state that Catherine Suttlemire had been allotted her 200 acres and that the petitioners were entitled to the balance of the land. The petition describes the same tracts of land that the dower petition described. The division was completed and reported to the January 1820 Session of court, with each of the petitioners receiving two tracts each. (See Burke County Court Minutes 1818-1829, Part I, pages 142-145.) Mary and David shared a 354-acre tract on the north side of the Catawba River, with Mary receiving 171 acres and David, 183 acres. Land on the north side of the river is in current Caldwell Co NC. Mary and David also each received 100 acres on the Caney Fork of Drowning Creek.

Jacob and John received land in Burke County that lay on the south side of the Catawba, divided equally between them. That tract also adjoined the Catherine Suttlemire land. Jacob also received 100 acres on the head of Drowning Creek, while John’s second tract was 50 acres on the northwest fork of Drowning Creek, including "an Iron oar bank." The report of David Bedel, Grover Bowman, Wm. Connelly, Allen Connelly and M(atthew) Baird, Commissioners, was dated 25 Jan 1820. The first four received 15 shillIngs per day served on the case; Baird, who was the surveyor, received 20 shillings or $2.00 per day for 9 days, plus $2.00 for each of four plats, for a total payment of $26.00.

Jacob’s widow died in 1823. Her will was offered for probate on the oath of Henrietta Moore, a subscribing witness. However, the executor, James Moore, refused to qualify and Mary’s daughter, Mary Pew (Pugh) was named to administer the estate. This record appears in the Burke Co NC court minutes; neither the original wills nor the will books for Burke County contain the will, so its provisions are not known. There is not an estate file for her in the NC State Archives, so there is no record of what property she may have owned at her death or what disposition she made of it. James Moore (7 May 1768-1 Aug 1859) is the person after whom the Moore Cemetery in Hickory was named, and he was most likely the owner of the Moore’s Ferry on the Catawba River in the area where Jacob Settlemire’s nephew David lived. Henrietta Moore (14 Feb 1773-24 Aug 1843) was James’ wife and was Thursey Sherrill Settlemire’s sister. (Heritage of Catawba County)

Jacob and Mary were clearly close to their nephews Martin and David. Martin witnessed Jacob’s will, and Mary had her will witnessed by one of David’s neighbors. It is likely that Jacob III met his future wile, Hannah Phillips, during a visit to his cousin David, since the Phillips family also lived in that general area.

Based upon census information and Jacob's will, Jacob Settlemire and Mary Bieber had five children:

1. Mary Settlemire 
2. Caterina Settlemire 
3. Jacob Settlemire 
4. David Settlemire 
5. John Settlemire 

Last Updated Sunday, November 18, 2001 04:13 PM